tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN January 26, 2018 4:00pm-5:00pm PST
she is someone that could have an important future for the future. >> south carolina governor, current ambassador to the united nations. her stock has gone up, up, up. thanks for watching. that's it for me wolf blitzer in "the situation room" "the situation room". erin burnett start right now. up front next, president trump about to return to the white house in facing the serious questions of his presidency. did the president obstruct justice? plus who is white house counsel don mcgahn why does he seem to be at the center of a lot of controversy? >> and billy graham daughter speaking out. let's go outfront. >> good evening i'm jim sciutto in for erin burnett tonight.
possible obstruction of justice zbins the president of the united states. mr. trump returning from the world summit in davos, switzerland. the president back on home soil and facing tough questions about how deeply he interfered in the russia probe. those questions growing after revelations that trump ordered special counsel mueller to be fired in june. trump has made only one comment regarding the reports about mueller. >> did you fire mueller? >> fake news, guys. typical fake news. >> but it is not fake news. cnn has learned he ordered mueller firing last june. it didn't happen because don mcgahn refused to tell the department to do so because he disagreed with trump. two sources tell cnn that
mueller wants to interview trump specifically focusing on the firing of james comey and michael flynn. is mueller now building an obstruction of justice case against the president? we know, according to "the washington post" that mueller is looking specifically at a quote pattern of behavior on trump's part. a pattern that began very early in trump's presidency. let's take a look. february 13, 2017, flynn resigns admitting that he lied about his conversations with the then russian ambassador kislyak. the very next day trump means with then fbi director james comey. comey takes notes of the meeting and writes that trump said, quote, i hope you can see your way to letting this go, to letting flynn go. comey does not let it go. may 9th, less than three months later, trump fires comey. and by trump's own admission his reason for firing comey was handling of the russian
investigation. >> regardless of recommendation, i was going to fire comey knowing there was no good time to do it. and in fact when i decided to just do it, i said to myself, i said, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made up story, it's an excuse by the democrats for having lost an election that they should have won. >> that pattern continues with attorney general jeff sessions who recused himself from matters related to the investigation after his own inaccurate statements about contacts with russians. >> i am disappointed in the attorney general. he should not have recused himself. almost immediately after he took office. and if he going to recuse himself he should have told me prior to taking office and i would have quite simply picked someone else. >> also on the firing line wray
and mccabe. just this week cnn threatened to quit as well because the president pressured him to fire or reassign mccabe. trump tweeted his grievances last month he said how can deputy director andrew mccabe the man in charge along with leaking james comey of the phoney hillary clinton including her 33,000 deleted emails be given $700,000 by wife's campaign puppets during investigation. trump has also railed at rod rosenstein that pointed him as special counsel firing this tweet directed at rosenstein. quote, i am being investigated by the man who told me to fire the fbi director. witch hunt. we know firing comey over the investigation ordered that firing. and numerous white house aids
have said no. >> no, i'm not dismissing anybody. >> the president is not discussing firing robert mueller. >> are you? >> no. >> are you setting the stage? >> no. >> there is no way he will fire him? >> no conversation. >> i don't have any reason to believe the president will do that. >> no, i'm not. >> those denials now look to be faulsz. pamela brown is outfront tonight at the white house. the president about to return to the white house from european trip. what is the thinking on the story as he comes home? i imagine not the home come that he wanted? >> reporter: no certainly diverted attention away from his trip. air force one just landed. reporters lined up. whether he takes the questions still unclear. but basically the white house is letting the words speak for t m
themselves on this latest bombshell that he ordered don mcgahn to fire robert mueller and mcgahn threatened to quick, fake news, calling the russia probe a hoax. but i can tell you at the white house while the president was in davos, sense of surprise. they knew june was a tense time. it was anxiety filled. it was touch and go for a lot of people. but they didn't realize the extent to which this tension boiled over with don mcgahn threatening to quit. now, we are told by source, jim, that don mcgahn up until this point was committed to his role, wanted to stay at the white house, but certainly all of this news and the lack of denial from don mcgahn today certainly raises the question of potentially awkward meetings between the president and his white house counsel moving forward. jim. >> that's right. just a few awkward relationships in the white house it seems. panel la brown at the white house tonight. thanks very much. and outfront tonight robert
zelden, april ryan, white house correspondent, and here with me in new york presidential historian. tim, if i can begin with you. looking at this now, how much danger do you think the president is in? >> the president is in enormous danger because he was to explain why he wanted to fire mueller. see if he want today fire mueller because he doesn't like the ties that mueller wears, that's one thing. but if he wants to fire him for something else, that's obstruction of justice, and that's the thing that got richard nixon in trouble. >> and you know a thing of two. april ryan you know the president well and spend time with him. does he understand this problem of behavior is problematic? >> well, i'm going back to seven months ago when i said on this very show with erin that there was mass hysteria.
at that time. so we actually broke it then. but let me say this, the president really didn't care then, but he listening to his people telling him you cannot do this. and today he understands more so now, but he still wants to do things his way. but i think he has a clearer understanding today that if he wrs to do this versus seven months ago, this would put more of a nail in the coffin that some want to see happen. they want this administration over. and if this indeed is true, this code lead to things like possible impeermeachment procees if there is the is there. so this is big. president has changed still wants to do things his way but understands the stakes are higher than seven months ago. >> april, you mentioned what you said on this program seven months ago in that june time frame. let's play it for viewers. >> one of my sources reached out to me before we went on air and
said there is mass hysteria in the west wing about this. we don't know if it's going to happen or if it won't happen. but what we do know, if indeed the president does fire mueller, it shows that he's impeding the process yet again. >> april, you were hearing at that time seven months ago that the president had ordered the firing or was considering firing mueller? >> considering the firing, and people, i remember, i remember that night. and it's so strange that the sources that i talked to were on the phone with me again today. that's our story. i said i know. they said i told you. and i said i know and i believe you. but here's the thing there was such confusion at the white house at the time and plays out now with the corroborating story with "the new york times" as to what happened. they said it was just mass hysteria because people were very concerned if you do this, this presidency would be in
infancy and possibly be over soon. so this is what was at stake. the president was seriously thinking of pulling the trigger on firing mueller. >> let me ask you this. based on everything we have seen so far, do you see a case for obstruction of justice? >> well, i see evidence of possible obstruction of justice. i don't know if i'm there that an obstruction of justice case can be made on the evidence we have. but there are some things here that are troubling. and to tim's point about richard nixon in 1974, two things that strike me as very problematic for the president is, if true, that he asked his national intelligence people to push back against the fbi's investigation, and he asked media people to push back against the investigation. and he asked the congressman, senator burr to try to end this thing. what got nixon in trouble was
having the cia intervene with the fbi investigation and try to shut it down. this has parallels to that. that i think is the most problematic part for the president until such time as he testifies. and tha then that will become the most problematic part. >> i got one of the phone calls, i won't say which official trying to push back reporting that turned out to be true. but michael i want to play what the president said about obstruction of justice during an impromptu q&a with reporters at the white house. here's the back and forth. >> do you think robert mueller will be fair to you in this larger investigation? >> we're going to find out. >> are you concerned? >> because here's what we'll say, and everybody says, no collusion. there is no collusion. now they are saying, oh, well did he fight back? did he fight back? you fight back. oh, it's obstruction. so here's the thing. i hope so. >> can his lawyers use that as a
legal argument say well the president was defending himself, he was just fighting back against an investigation that he didn't think was substantive? >> so anyone who is under investigation, and let's assume that the president himself is under investigation l has a legal right to defend themselves. and if he wants to defend himself in the press by saying that there was no collusion and no obstruction, that's his right. what he can't do is interfere with the investigation by witness tampering or evidence destruction or seeking other law enforcement agencies to interfere. >> or instructing aides to lie? >> that's right. all of those things that cross the rue ba con of defending yourself and obstructingment and i think he's crossing back and forth. and mueller when he sits down and interviews him. because this crime of obstruction is sort of a one of intent. what was the president's intention when he did that? that's why there has to be a live in person interview, so
mueller can assess that. and the statement that he made, if true in "washington post," that he ordered mccann to order rosenstein to fire mueller is a window into his thinking. >> right. tim, we had a bit of a conversation about this. because i no he these are difficult legal issues for myself and for our viewers to understand. it's about intent. and it needs to be, you said, corrupt intent. >> yes. >> does that mean intent has to cover a crime that you committed? >> yes. and i'm not a lawyer, but i've seen intent described in the tapes, that's why nixon would have been impeached and removed. >> because on the tape. >> because it was clear he was engaging in ha cover up because he knew he committed a crime. >> so that's the key, if the president knew he committed a crime that's obstruction? >> or someone associated with him did a crime and not letting the justice department get on that person. >> but if there is no evidence of a crime and the president did
not like the investigation you are saying it's not necessarily. >> didn't like the investigator. if he shuts down the investigation that's a huge problem. >> but if he doesn't like the person leading the investigation? >> it's all about intent. if he didn't like the tie, it's bad move but doesn't mean obstruction of justice. >> michael, just a final thought on that. >> yeah. michael just a final legal thought on that. did tim have it right there, you have to have corrupt intent to cover up a crime? >> no, you have to have corrupt intent to interfere with administration of justice. you do nt have to cover up a crime. in nixon's case he was covering up a case. but in obstruction of justice litigation ta prosecutors bring all the time, you do not need to have the cover up of a crime. you just have the intent to interfere with the administration of justice or ongoing investigation. >> thanks a lot.
i know these are complicated issues. we are going to stick on it. and trust me we'll be back to our question again. outfront next, who is white house counsel don mcgahn and is he looking out for the president or himself? plus not based in fact. so why are trump's allies clinging to them? and a top senator who calls trump's move to fire mueller, quote, deeply scary, wants to take action now to protect the special counsel from the president. senator richard blumenthal will be outfront. don't let another weekend pass you by. get the lowest price when you book at hilton.com when heartburn hits fight back fast with tums chewy bites. fast relief in every bite. crunchy outside. chewy inside.
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>> [ inaudible ] we have people from davos bringing their money over here. i think it was a very, very successful trip. >> are you firing bob mueller? >> all right. that was very loud there, but just to recap. the president said he had a very successful trip to davos. reporters shouted questions about the russian investigation and firing of robert mueller. discussions about that but the president walked away and did not answer those questions. breaking news now the lawyer who stopped trump from firing mueller will face questions whether heel face his anger on don mcgahn. telling cnn mcgahn refused to follow threatening to quit instead. but not mcgahn has been at the center of controversy. tom foreman is out front.
>> reporter: some are hailing white house counsel don mcgahn as hero in the wake of the report that he stood up to president trump and beat down an attempt to fire special counsel robert mueller. the man leading the investigation trump finds so infuriating. >> russia is fake news. this is fake news put out by the media. >> reporter: others, however, are not so sure. the former director of ethics tweeting i bet mcgahn objection is not firing mueller was wrong but that it was danger. also, this is not the first painting mcgahn at his expense. but if president has doubts about top legal gun, they are not showing. >> there is a reason he appointed me. >> reporter: long time lawyer and trump ally for several years, mcgahn has been by his side throughout the russia probe. at times, through the consternation of investigators.
when the department of justice first raised red flags that security adviser michael flynn was lying to officials about russia contacts. >> one of the questions he asked me why does it matter to doj if one lies to another official. >> reporter: when he did this, he said to make sure comeys competence bakds up by others. >> he's a show boat and grandstander. >> reporter: in attempt to make it appear as not about the russia probe which comey lead. and when the president wanted attorney general jeff sessions to hold the reins of the russia investigation and not recuse himself. >> which, frankly, i think is very unfair to the president. >> reporter: whom did he reportedly send to change sessions mind?
he failed but "new york times" says again it was don mcgahn. >> it is important to note in all of that that mcgahn and some members of his legal team are also among those who are being asked as part of the russia probe. jim? >> tom foreman tonight in washington. outfront now former counsel for bush and former ethics painter richard painter. if i could begin with you, because you worked with mcgahn. looking back at this, do you think he saved the president from catastrophic event? >> yeah, i think so. so if president was concerned and don mcgahn stopped him and threatened him from quitting, good for him. >> did he have a choice in this case? >> no, i don't think he had a choice. if he wanted to do his job professionally and also not risk
what happened to john dean, president nixon's white house counsel and ended up going to jail with the obstruction of justice going on there. so he did the right thing. he absolutely did the right thing. but there were not a lot of options. he could not have called up the justice department and put pressure on them to fire robert mueller. that would have put him in the obstruction of justice mess and made him criminal investigation and may have caused him his law license. i don't think he will make that mistake, at least i hope not, of being dragged into what appears to be an effort to derail, to obstruct the russian investigation. >> so you have this moment here with the president, don mcgahn some describing it as heroic moment. but let's be clear here, mcgahn was involved in a number of decisions by the president,
including the fire of james comey, which we know is central to mueller's investigation. is he really a hero in this story? >> look, i think don mcgahn is doing his job protect the president and his white house. that's literally his job as white house counsel. so where he gives president advice or does things on behalf of the white house he does his job. and he should expect lawyer to be vociferous for his client. if you do this, this is a mistake for you and the presidency, you shouldn't do this. >> richard, mcgahn, this is complicated story, some difficult legal situations here. and mcgahn might be a case in point. he's been interviewed as part of the special counsel's investigation. does his role here refusing to act on the order to fire special counsel muddy his position legally? >> well, it could. but i don't think it makes it
impossible for him to continue his job as white house counsel. he has extremely difficult client. and we all know that. president trump's private lawyers have to deal with him as an extremely difficult client as well. mcgahn is experienced lawyer. and there are areas where i think he could do more with respect to financial conflicts of interest in the administration to making sure the white house follows the ethics rules, but he's dealing with a client who is under mining him right and left. and i wouldn't want to second guess his froegsalliprofessiona situation that i wouldn't want to difficult with. >> difficult client. we heard walter shab raise the probability that mcgahn is the leaker of the story. as you know we all know the white house hates leakers yet there are a lot of leakers in the white house often to their own advantage.
>> well, look, i mean the white house is in a challenging situation right now. because the president is critical of his own aides when they don't do what he wants. and his own aides are out there leaking now. i don't see don mcgahn as leaking type. that's not the type of lawyer he is. not the lawyer that i met and spent a little time with. so i don't see that but that's out there. and i'm sure people are asking that question. but here's the bottom line which is the important thing to remember here is that if president fires bob mueller he'll be in a lot of trouble, he knows that and realizes that, so i'm not sure that's a focus here. what the president ought to go doing is focusing on agenda and stop worrying about the mueller investigation. it's going to happen. the president should stick with his agenda. >> does that prejudice the investigation all the leaking? >> i don't know. it might help the investigation.
certainly leaking to that book, that michael wolff book, but then again president trump and his political people invited author right there in the white house to go around interviewing people. of course, the president who throws staff members under the bus and fires people with regularity is going to have more leaking going on for example president bush. we had leaking as well. but i think the lawyers are usually the last people to leak, because that's clear violation of the professional ethics obligation of confidentiality of a lawyer. and a lawyer could lose his bar license over that so i sort of doubt it would be a lawyer. >> thanks, gentlemen, very much for your time. and up next, still embracing now debunked conspiracy theories such as anti-trump secret society. why? and congress moving to protect the special counsel, can they shield him from the president? n. trekking a hundred miles inland
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because getting what you need should be simple, fast, and easy. download the xfinity my account app or go online today. tonight as president trump denies reports that he tried to fire special counsel robert mueller, trump's allies in congress and on fox news are still pushing conspiracy theories about the fbi. all in an a parent effort to discredit mueller and any agency connected to the russia probe. the latest example, russia zeroing in on text messages two officials to claim that the whole agency is bias. for days they pointed to a text from fbi lawyer page to strzok to read, quote, are you even going to give out your calendar? seems kind of depressing.
maybe it should be the first meeting of the secret society. so here's what republicans said. >> there is a text exchange between these two fbi agent, supposed to be fact centric fbi agents saying perhaps this is the first meeting of the secret society. so of course i'm going to want to know what secret society are you talking about. >> secret society? we have an informant that's talking about a group that holding secret meetings off-site. >> only problem, and it's a big one, that secret society was just a joke. this according to sources familiar with that tenth exchange. and i might add senator johnson who you just saw talking there about that secret society now admits as well that it is, quote, a real possibility that comment was in gist. and he is now noticeably silent on the issue. in fact we invited johnson on the show tonight. and last night. and the night before. he declined. then there is the controversial memo by house intelligence committee chairman nunes which
republicans want to release. nunes claims that it shows fbi wrongdoing related to surveillance activities in the russia investigation. republicans have gone all in on the memo embracing contents as proof they say of a fbi conspiracy against trump. >> this memo is troubling. it demonstrates certainly wrongdoing. >> do you think about, is this happening about in america, or is this the kgb, that's how alarming this is. >> i don't think this will end with firings. i believe there are people who will go to jail. >> but this week, the president's own justice department run by his appointee, jeff sessions said it is, quote, unaware of any wrongdoing, adding that it would be, quote, again, extraordinarily reckless to release the memo before the doj and fbi reviewed t sighting concerns about national security. bull nunes won't show the memo to the doj or the fbi.
he won't even show it to the republican chairman of the intelligence committee who referred to the document somewhat dismissively as devon's memo. next up the dossier ton president trump possible ties to russia. trying to preach that democrats alone paid for the dossier and suggesting that the dossier single handedly kicked off the entire russia probe. >> my concern is that this dossier was created at the behest of the democratic party. >> we know now without a shadow of a doubt that historic paid fusion gps to acquire this dossier. >> i think the next focus will be on whether or not did the fbi use this dossier to get any warrants, did they use it to open up counter intelligence investigation. >> let's look at the facts. fusion gps the firm by tdid the
dossier paid by the republicans major republican donor. only when trump became the a parent donor, they took over. as for the role in doing the probe, the investigation started in fact because former trump aide papadopoulos told in britain ta they had political dirt on hillary clinton which prompted australia officials to share that information with u.s. counterparts. and more broadly cnn has reported fbi had own intelligence to spark the investigation. and officials tell us across the board the bureau would not seek on outside which it had not corroborated itself. president trump has been peddling conspiracy 1/theories well saying the bureau is in tatters.
trump also accused president obama last year of having wires tapped in trump tower just before the victory. trump promised to show proof to back up his claim. that never happened. and once again his own justice department shot down that conspiracy theory and said there was no evidence to support the claim. outfront host of the ferguson, and host of state resistance podcast. ben, you saw what we laid out conspiracy theories and falling when presented with the inconvenience of facts, why do you think republicans keep leaning on these unproven c conspiracy theories? >> i think it's unfair. >> i don't think. >> let me finish. >> i'll let you finish. >> you have two fbi agents who clearly have shown in their text message bias against donald trump and even talking about
needing to have an insurance policy in case donald trump is it elected. these same two individuals used the words describing that they might actually need to have some sort of secret meeting in their own words. these same mess headachages tha lost for four month period, now we found them to look at them and do an investigation. if you are mad at somebody for bringing up conspiracy theory, we should be mad at the two fbi agents who showed bias to the president, and one demoted and taken off the mueller investigation, clearly showing some wrongdoing. and if you are mad if a conspiracy theory if that's what people want to call it, you should be mad at the fbi agents talking about having secret meetings off-site and talking about needing an insurance policy against donald trump. >> before i go back over some of the facts that are easily disproven i want to go to sally to get her view. >> i mean, i sent text tos to m
friends all the time comparing my friends, but it doesn't mean i'm beonce. >> you don't work at the fbi. >> that's the first thing, you can't interpret those text as out of context, didn't mention trump as a joke, that's scary and it's unfortunate for the viewers at home that they haven't invented smell a vision, that's desperate number one. number two, larger point, and i'm curious to hear your thoughts, ben, is the implication is not that republicans have a problem with someone of the other party or other political persuasion potentially being involved in an investigation, but, rather, what your real problem is anyone being involved in an investigation who doesn't agree with you. because last i checked. >> not true. >> you didn't complain when republicans investigated ben
gazcy 8 times. you didn't say. >> people died in benghazi. >> my point is -- >> let her finish. >> i don't know what this has to do with this. >> you didn't say they can't investigate president obama, that's not fair. >> i strnt said anything. >> ben, i'll give you a chance. when comey was historically republican was investigating hillary, i didn't hear you say, hey, hey, that's not fair, he's a republican he can't investigate a democrat. >> sally, i've never said it's only fair if this person investigates or this person doesn't investigate. let's deal with facts. the fact is and it's dunn disputed facts here, these two fbi agents clearly high level in the fbi wip i we mind you have now been taken out of an investigation into russian because of their bias. many people believe they should
be fired for bias. put these words in their own text messages out there. they also clearly show that they hated the president of the united states of america. they wanted hillary clinton to win. and thought they needed an insurance policy. if donald trump was elected in their words. >> ben, on that point, because a couple things i said which have not been borne out by the facts. one, let me ask you this key questions. >> which ones? >> well, secret society, even ron johnson admits it's a joke. >> i don't thip he admitted a joke. he said possibility. >> did you see the text messages? >> they should never joke about a secret society when they are investigating the president of the united states. this is fbi. >> the secret society was they were giving out gag putin calendars to a group of people? >> that's what they say. >> let me get this straight. jim, let's be clear here.
get this straight. you are telling me because you have all these text messages between two fbi agents that clearly show a bias against the president, you are saying everything they said about the president is a joke, they should not have been demoted for their jobs? come on. >> i was correcting the record. >> that's absorbed. >> where the record needed to be corrected. but let me ask you a bigger question. when mueller discovered these text messages between these two agents he of course it seemed found it to be unacceptable because he found them removed from the investigation. is that sufficient change for you and does that take your -- >> absolutely. >> take your bias away? >> i have not criticized mueller. let be be me be clear. i have not criticized mueller that he is bias in this investigation. i wants to be clear. he saw there is some problem
with the fbi agents and demoted them. but to say everything else is a joke, no, even the former fbi director knows this is not a joke to take them hoff the investigation. this is a real issue. >> the joke was referring to that message. thanks to both of you. tough issue. and i appreciate you going at it fairly tonight. ben, sally. >> thanks, jim. outfront next democrats rush to go protect robert mueller from being fired. will they succeed? senator leading the charge will join me. hand billy graham's granddaughter says evangelical leaders are looking the other way whether it comes to trump because they are getting something in return, what is it? we are going to ask her. 00 prec or it isn't. it's inspected by mercedes-benz factory-trained technicians. or it isn't. it's backed by an unlimited mileage warranty, or it isn't. for those who never settle, it's either mercedes-benz certified pre-owned,
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welcome back. tontd congress moving to protect robert mueller from president trump. this after stunning revelation he tried to fire robert mueller last year. but only resented when his own counsel refused to carry out the order. outfront now key senators richard blumenthal sits on the senate judiciary committee. senator, thanks for joining us tonight. outside of this bill, is there anything you can do to ensure that mueller keeps his job? >> we can certainly appeal to the public. the court of public opinion is a very effective remedy.
and we can appeal to colleagues to raise a human cry indeed i think there would be a firestorm if the president fires robert mueller. but the whole purpose of the legislation is to avoid that constitutional con flag ration. unnecessary self inflicted crisis similar to the saturday night massacre that have parelized the government. we already have enough dysfunction. we don't need this kind of dysfunction. >> when nixon fired special counsel. the chairman of your committee, grassley, he told manu raju that president trump should let the investigation run its course and also said open to considering bills that protect mueller. are you saying grassley has pledged his support to a bill lke that? >> that report is very significant, jim, just a few
hours ago chairman grassley told cnn that he was open to considering this will kind of protection for this special counsel. and the simple answer is it's the first indication from the chairman that in fact he would be open to moving forward. i've been disappointed with the ap parent silence. because this bombshell action from the president back in june to fire the special counsel out to prompt everyone in the senate to do our constitutional duty and protect the special counsel against this obstruction of justice that now is looming. >> are you saying that base on what you've seen the president object obstructed justice. >> there is credible case against the president trump. and what we are seeing is
obstruction of justice unfolding before us in realtime with the actions and statements that he's making, you referred earlier to his saying he is fighting back, and that he has a right to fight back. he is entitled to make a defense. he has a right to present arguments and facts that exonerate him. he has no right to misuse the powers of his office to intimidate witnesses and fire prosecutors and hold documents or destroy them. and that is a very clear line that evidently he doesn't respect. >> it is interesting that a lot of these comments not happening in secret rooms somewhere. they are happening via twitter or in the public sphere. now, trump ordered mueller to be fired in june of last year, seven months ago, since then the president said on multiple occasions he's not interested in firing mueller. >> i'm going to dismiss him? no, i'm not going to dismiss
anybody. >> are you interested in firing robert mueller? >> no, i'm not. >> mr. senator, was the president lying to the american people? >> he said a lot over the last seven months. the reason why we introduced this legislation some six months ago or five months ago was in fact the threat of firing robert mueller. not just that one action, which in fact was unknown to us at the time, but a lot of what he was saying then and what others have said since, his surge surrogates on law enforcement generally on robert mueller's team and robert mueller himself out to give all of us a reason to take this action. there is nothing downward or no down side about passing this
legislation. and it would help send a message to the president that there will be a firestorm. that there will be no tolerance for him firing special counsel. >> do you believe the president will sit down with the special counsel, robert mueller to be asked questions under oath? >> i think he will. he said he will. he said he's looking forward to it. the legislation that we've offered i want to emphasize is bipartisan. i think there will be a bipartisan demand that he sit down with the special counsel. i think there will be a bipartisan firestorm if he, in effect, stone walls the investigation. >> senator richard blumenthal, thanks very much. >> thank you. >> and outfront next, billy graham granddaughter says evangelical leaders are wrong to forgive trump for alleged a fair with a porn star, that next.
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what they don't understand about evangelicals is our faith is based on the theological of forgiveness. >> i am picking a pro-life conservative running mate and embraced himself in the most political party platform. and gave him a mulligan. >> jerushah armfield, the granddaughter of billy graham. do you believe that trump gets a pass? >> in order to forgive somebody, that individual needs to repent and apologize. and i don't think america has seen that from our president in
any way. >> what about if it is president obama, paid her off with her silence, could you major your grandfather your uncle saying the same thing. >> i think the reality is i think we all know the answer to that question. >> what is the answer? >> i don't think that any of the prior world leaders have been forgiven for anything about some of these evangelicals. the question you are asking is the same question i am asking. and the world knows the answer nothing these leaders have said or done have illustrated that they would give that forgiveness to, let's say president obama in that situation. now, had president obama asked for forgiveness and in humility
changed, then of course. you have to ask for forgiveness. >> here is what he told my colleague don lemon. >> isn't the president supposed to be a role model for all? >> you certainly want him to be a role model. he is a businessman, he is not a politician. and when he is in business meetings, he talks in certain way. and he is trying to get the point across. i believe donald trump is a good man and president of the united states for a good reason. i believe god put him there. >> do you agree with those excuses? >> first, a lot of times people seem to be focusing on the language that he used which wasn't the issue. i don't think it was anybody's issue. i think it was the context that he said around the language that he used. >> you are talking about the
shit hole comment. >> the comments about haiti. yes, sir, i think they are focusing on the language. i think it was, you know, the disheartening dehumanizing comments that were said around the world. i think -- i said the last time i was on your program, my president doesn't have to be a christian, but i don't want him to be held up as the poster boy for evangelical because he doesn't represented most of us. >> it seems like the tradeoff, most evangelicals are giving president trump a pass. do you think that is a fair trade-off? that it affects those positions out weigh or even erase comments
that you have heard from president trump. >> no. and i understand a lot of evangelicals are supporting him because of his policies. i would love to see a christian leader come out to say they support him for his policies but clean up his act. they feel like they have to stay hush on his behavior. and sending the wrong message to the world what christianity is or what evangelicals are or have become. >> do you see any evangelical support for the president waning after this first year in office. >> from the things that i have seen, no. i see possibly a turn that they will start to speak out a little bit more about some of his behavior, but no, those policies that they are hoping he is going
to push through seem paramount right now. >> thanks for taking the time for speaking out on those issues. thanks for joining us. i am jim sciutto for erin tonight. "ac 360" starts right now. good evening, the president has arrived back in washington tonight facing the latest storm over the newest item on the long and growing list. the president calls the latest item fake news. and even before last night's bomb shell about his efforts to fire mueller, president trump mocked the idea that any of his actions so far could be legally problematic. >> now they are saying did he fight back. >> what is collusion mean? >> if you fight back